'The fastest lorries in Europe', the Italian carmaker Ettore Bugatti laconically described Walter Bentley's huge, snarling British race cars that aggressively dominated motor racing for years. Driven by hard-partying young men known as the Bentley Boys, they consistently beat all comers, winning the Le Mans 24 Hour endurance race five years out of six. They also dominated Brooklands - the cradle of motor racing - and its thundering, steep banking, becoming the world's most admired and feared sporting cars.
Bought by Rolls-Royce in 1931, Bentley languished in semiobscurity for decades as their parent company concentrated on its main marque. In the 1980s Bentley re-emerged with mighty turbo-charged super cars, and saved the financially ailing Rolls-Royce from going under. Bentley was back, and today is the world's leading performance luxury car.